In a March 5 post in which she deemed Rush Limbaugh's Saturday apology to Sandra Fluke as insufficient to be rewarded by her holiness, Washington Post "On Faith" feature editor Sally Quinn pounded her electronic pulpit yesterday, condemning Rush's audience for being complicit in Limbaugh's sin of daring to bombastically criticize the Left (emphases mine):
I pose another question. This one to his audience: Have you no shame for listening to this man’s grotesque rants?
Without you, he wouldn’t have the platform. Do you really believe that any woman who is unmarried and wants birth control included in her health-care plan is a slut, a prostitute or round-heeled? Would this include yourself, your daughters, your female family members? Let’s not forget that 99 percent of all women in this country have used birth control. If Limbaugh has anywhere near the audience he is said to have, that would mean that an awful lot of those female listeners, from his point of view, are sluts, prostitutes or round-heeled. Would they define themselves that way?
How would he feel if his wife were referred to by a liberal media pundit as a slut, prostitute, or round-heeled? Would he think it was a laugh riot?
Who are his listeners anyway? What do they think of his description of Sandra Fluke? Do they think it’s funny? Do they agree with him? Do they pray? If so, for whom? For Fluke? For Limbaugh? For themselves? Are they ashamed for listening to him saying such un-Christian things about others?
An apology should be an expression of sincere regret for an offense given. It requires the apologist to name the offense. Often, it is accompanied by a request for forgiveness. Here’s what doesn’t work: “My choice of words was not the best and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. “ That falls into the category of “I’m sorry if I offended you.”
Of course, Limbaugh elaborated and expanded upon his apology on his Monday afternoon program, something that was not accounted for in Quinn's 2:33 p.m. EST-published item. Here's what Rush said yesterday (again, emphases mine):
Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that. I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words.
The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do, and in so doing, I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level. It's important not to be like them, ever, particularly in fighting them. The old saw, you never descend to the level of your opponent or they win. That was my error last week. But the apology was heartfelt. The apology was sincere. And, as you will hear as I go on here, it was not about anything else. No ulterior motive. No speaking in code. No double entendre or intention. Pure, simple, heartfelt. That's why I apologized to Sandra Fluke on Saturday, 'cause all the theories, all the experts are wrong.
Granted, Quinn would probably trash Limbaugh for saying in his apology that he descended to the Left's level, but as we've shown repeatedly at NewsBusters, liberal media personalities are never called on the carpet for their transgressions in the way Rush was for his. Double standards and favoritism, Ms. Quinn, are sins too, you know.
Quinn went on to write a groveling apology she would like to hear from Rush, before praising libertarian Ron Paul for his condemnation of the conservative talker and trashing the other GOP candidates for their respective responses:
Here’s a real apology: “The words I used were vile and reprehensible. There is no excuse for having said what I did. There are no words I can use to express my sincere regret for having caused you pain and embarrassment. I can only hope that you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I promise I will never speak in such heinous and degrading terms about a woman again."
Don’t hold your breath.
Ron Paul got it right: “I don’t think he’s very apologetic,” he said on Face the Nation on Sunday. “He’s doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about. Yes. I think he should have apologized. I had said he used very crude language. And I think he gets over the top at times.”
There was no way Newt Gingrich was going to take on his good buddy, Limbaugh. Giving short shrift to the Rush affair just in case Limbaugh might have offended some of his potential voters, Gingrich brushed it off with this. “I think he was right to apologize.” Then he quickly moved on to his real concern: “But let’s talk about apologies for a second. I think the president was totally wrong as commander in chief to apologize to religious fanatics while our young men are being killed in Afghanistan. I think it was a disaster of an apology.” He couldn’t leave the elite media out. “I am astounded at the desperation of the elite me...to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week.”
Rick Santorum remarked that Limbaugh‘s comments were “absurd” (that’s it?) but it was okay because he was “an entertainer.”
Mitt Romney, went way out on a limb: “I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used.”
In doing so, Quinn proves liberal pundit Kirsten Powers's point.The Limbaugh/Fluke row isn't about defending women or civil discourse. It's a fundraising, base-boosting proxy war for the Left, of which Sally Quinn is a loyal soldier.